Charles Oakley was born in Cleveland, Ohio, and attended Virginia Union University.
Oakley was drafted with the 9th overall pick in the 1985 NBA Draft by the Cleveland Cavaliers, but his draft rights were traded to the Chicago Bulls. Oakley provided another scoring option and steady offensive and defensive performances to an up-and-coming Bulls squad led by Michael Jordan. Oakley earned All-Rookie Team honors in 1986.
With the drafting and development of Horace Grant, the Bulls traded Oakley to the New York Knicks for 7’1″ center Bill Cartwright. Oakley eventually became a part of the core which the Knicks built around, which also featured Patrick Ewing, John Starks, and point guard Mark Jackson. During the Knicks’ 1994 season, which included a record 25 playoff games, Oakley started every regular season and playoff game for a record 107 starts in a single season. During his 19 year NBA Career,Oakley was known as a team leader,intelligent basketball player and top NBA rebounder.
Since retiring from basketball, Charles has turned his passion toward the kitchen. In 2008, he hosted his own unique cooking show, Cafe Oakley. His specialty: healthy options with savory and delicious flavors, notably; turkey burgers. He went on to open Red, The Steakhouse in Cleveland and another location in South Beach, Miami, FL. Oakley has displayed his culinary skills on several cooking competition shows, including Chopped Tournament of Stars on the Food Network, in 2014.
Charles is active today cooking for various private and public parties and can be hired to cook for any event. It’s not often you find a talented chef with a 19 year NBA career and well known celebrity friends and loved by many. Look for Charles’ cookbook coming soon….